Friday, November 9, 2012
A decorated human skull or Natita is carried out of the Cementerio General's chapel and to the Natitas Festival at the largest cemetery in La Paz, Bolivia, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012. "Natitas," are human skulls from unnamed, abandoned graves that are cared for and decorated by faithful who use them as amulets believing they serve as protection from thieves. The festival is a mixture of Andean ancestral worship rites and Catholic beliefs. According to experts, it was common practice in the pre-Hispanic era to keep skulls as trophies and display them during the rituals to symbolize death and rebirth. The festival marks the end of the All Saints' holiday, but is not recognized by the Catholic church.
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